By His Divine Grace Srila A.C.B. Swami Prabhupada
sri bhagavan uvaca
danam damas ca yajnas ca
svadhyayas tapa arjavam
ahimsa satyam akrodhas
tyagah santir apaisunam
daya bhutesv aloluptvam
mardavam hrir acapalam
tejah ksama dhrtih saucam
bhavanti sampadam daivim
Srila Prabhupada: The first thing is that bhagavan uvaca. These things required for purification. Sattva-samsuddhih. The human life is meant for sattva. Sattva. Sattva means existence. We are existing. I am existing; you are existing. But we are sometimes appear to be not existing. That is called death. We, every living entity, we are eternal. That is stated in the Second Chapter, that ajo nityah sasvatah, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. These things required to understand, that “I am a living being, not only I am, everyone. We are eternal, nityah sasvatah.” There are so many universities all over the world and so-called scientists and philosophers, but they do not know that we are eternal. Just see their knowledge, advancement of knowledge. Eternal, aja. There is no birth. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. After this destruction of this body, I am not finished. I still exist. What is the destruction of this body? Death means it is a machine. It is called machine. Yantrarudhani mayaya. It is a machine given to me.
Just like you take a car. That is a machine. Now some way or other, if the car stops, not working, does it mean that you are finished? No. I can take another car. This is knowledge. But this knowledge is lacking. People are being educated, but they are all rascals because they have not this simple knowledge that ajah sasvato ‘yam, “I am aja.” How it is aja proof? Yes, there is proof. “How I am eternal?” If somebody asks that “How I am…?” (Aside:) Don’t move that body, that. “How I am eternal?” There is proof. And who is giving the proof? Krsna, Bhagavan uvaca. The highest authority, not ordinary person or any living being, Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Krsna means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is saying. He is giving the proof. What is that proof?
dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
Dehinah. I am dehi. Dehi. This body is deha, body, but I am not this body. You think over. If you take this finger, you study, am I this finger? No, the conclusion will come: “It is my finger, not I finger.” Simply little knowledge required. How? Now, Krsna gives this example, that dehinah, asmin dehe yatha dehinah kaumaram yauvanam jara. He has explained in different ways, but the beginning is this, that this body is changing. You had a small body, baby’s body. Where is that body? If I say, “Where is that body?” what you will answer? But you know that “I had a small body.” I know. Everyone will know. But where is that body? That body is not existing. I was also young man like you, but now I am an old man. Old man means my body is different, old body. Your body is different. So Krsna giving this very nice example. As the baby is changed into a boy, a boy is changed into a youth, a youth is changed into old man, so this changing is going on, but I or you, we know that “I had such body.”
I have several times spoken to you that in my, when I was about six months old, I remember, I remember I was lying down on my eldest sister’s lap, and she was knitting. I still remember it very vividly. And so many things I remember. But where is that body, lying down on the lap of mother or sister? You cannot say… Either you say it has grown, grown or not grown… According to medical science, it is not grown; it is changed. The body is changing. Just like in a film spool, you will find so many bodies. One hand is like this, one hand is like this, one hand is like this, and when they are taken together, it moves like this. This is the film. Film means there are different bodies in different position and when they are taken at once, it, likes that it moves. The picture is not moving. Similarly, we are changing of the different body, but it is taking place so quickly and so imperceptibly by Krsna’s energy. The machine is so nice that we are thinking that it is growing. It is not growing, all different bodies, all different. Every moment, every second. That is the scientific. The blood corpuscles are changing, and the body is different.
So this is the preliminary knowledge of advancing in spiritual knowledge. You do not know what is spirit and what is the spiritual knowledge. This is spirit, that spirit is there. Asmin dehe, in this body, there is the spirit soul, and the spirit soul is permanent. The spirit soul is permanent, and it is expressing in different way according to the change of body. Just like this child is now just like ordinary animal. But this body, when he will change, he will express in a different way. He will express in a different way. Similarly, if you get the cat’s body, you will express in a different way. If you get a dog’s body, you will express in a different way. If you get the body of a tree, that you cannot express. You will have to stand simply. You have to suffer. You cannot protest. Somebody is taking, cutting, take your fruit, cutting your branch, but you cannot protest.
So this is going on perpetually, not perpetually, at least for many, many millions of years, for many, many millions of years. But we are, because we are fool, especially in this age of Kali, we do not understand it. Therefore it is said, sattva-samsuddhih. You require to be cured of your, this disease, ignorance. That is called… Just like when you become infected with some disease, you go to a physician, and he gives you some injection or some medicine so that you may be cured of the extra fever or extra pain due to your disease. Similarly, those who are advanced in knowledge, their sattva, existence, is cured. That we require. Or everyone requires to be cured of this disease of ignorance. The ignorance, disease of ignorance, means “I am this body. I am this body.” I am not this body. So therefore it is said, abhayam sattva-samsuddhih, sattva-samsuddhih. And jnana, this sattva-samsuddhih, this purification of my existence, is possible. It is simply jnana. Jnana means knowledge. Because I am in ignorance, therefore I am thinking, “I am this body.” So it requires a little jnana, knowledge. Then we will understand that “I am not this body; I am different from this body.” And because I am in ignorance, therefore I am thinking, “I am this body,” “I am this white body,” “I am this black body,” “I am this American body,” “I am this Indian body,” “I am this cat’s body” and “dog’s body,” so many different consciousness on account of this… Basic principle is this ignorance. Ignorance. So that we have to cure.
That is the special advantage of human life. The dogs and the cat, they cannot be cured. They cannot be given the knowledge. Because you are human being, you are together here to get this knowledge. The cats and dogs, they cannot come. They cannot take this knowledge. So we have got the advantage of getting this knowledge in this life, and again, if we go back to the cats’ and dogs’ knowledge, then what is the benefit of getting this body? So this civilization, this dog civilization, is so spread all over the world that it is very, very difficult to cure it. We are making little attempt, but the ignorance is so deep, the disease is so acute, it is very, very difficult. But actually the disease is there.
And abhayam. Abhayam means fearlessness. So long we are in this body, material body, there are four principles, out of which one is bhayam, fearfulness, “What will happen? What will happen?” Because I am eternal, na hanyate sarire, but my body is to be annihilated, but because I am… This is the psychology. Because I am eternal, I do not want my body be annihilated. But it will be. Therefore I am always fearful, “When it will be annihilated? When it will be annihilated? Is the time come? Is the time come?” This is called bhayam. Bhayam dvitiyabhinnivesatah syat. Because I am identifying with this body, therefore there is fearfulness. And if by knowledge I can understand that “I am not this body, I am spirit soul,” aham brahmasmi, and if you are actually convinced, then there is no fearfulness. In the Western countries there is only one philosopher, Socrates. He was condemned to death because he was speaking that “I am soul. I am eternal.” That was his fault. So the judges enquired, “Mr. Socrates, now you are going to die, so what kind of grave you want?” So Socrates replied, “First of all capture me. Then you put me into the grave.” That is the fact. “You rascal, you are talking of my this body. So body is already material. You put it in the grave or in the hell. It doesn’t matter. But I am eternal. You cannot capture me.” So this is knowledge. This abhayam. He was going to be hanged or killed. He is fearless: “But what is this nonsense? He will kill my body. That’s all.”
So it requires very firm knowledge. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. That is possible. That is possible by jnana. Just like Prahlada Maharaja. His father, demon father Hiranyakasipu, was chastising him in so many ways. But he was not afraid at all, fearless, because he was convinced that “I am not this body. I am different from body.” Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. “I will not die.” It is simply knowledge, firm knowledge. And as soon as you come to that position, that “I am not this body,” then automatically you, become abhayam, no fear. Everyone is afraid of being killed. That is the most fearful position. But if you are convinced that “I am not killed; I exist…”
That does not mean I shall be voluntarily prepared to be killed. No, that is not the idea. Idea is that if we are… Jnanam vairagyam. These two things required in human life, jnanam vairagyam. Jnanam means “I am not this body.” This is jnanam. And vairagya means renunciation: “If I am not this body, then what I have got to do with this material world? This material world is important because I am identifying myself with this material body. Therefore it is important. Where I shall sit? Where shall I eat? Where shall I sleep? How shall I be protected?” So many things. There are many instances, just like Dhruva Maharaja. A five year old boy, he went to the jungle. He was sitting alone there, abhayam, abhayam, no fearfulness. The more you become spiritually conscious… The highest stage of spiritual consciousness is Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness means “I am Krsna’s, that’s all.” Krsna says, mamaivamsah: “All these living entities, they are my part and parcel.” So you have to understand this relationship with Krsna, that you are Krsna’s. And Krsna, what is Krsna? Bhagavan. Bhagavan. What is Bhagavan?
viryasya yasasah sriyah
sannam bhaga itingana
Everything is definition there. In our Vedic knowledge there is no vague idea, rascal’s idea. All clear. What is Bhagavan? Immediately you get the enunciation, definition, “This is Bhagavan,” not that so-called Bhagavan, incarnation, this Baba, this yogi. These are all nonsense. Bhagavan is different. God is different. God means… Definition, you take the definition, Vedic definition, aisvaryasya: all wealth. Who can claim that “I am wealthy. I possess all the wealth of the universe”? Who can say? Only Krsna can say; nobody can say. You may be millionaire. You may be Rockefeller or this Tata or Birla. That is very insignificant position. But a Tata, Rockefeller or this, they cannot say, “No, I possess the whole wealth of the universe.” That you cannot say. But Krsna can say. Therefore He is Bhagavan. Aisvaryasya samagrasya. Samagra means as much wealth there are. You may imagine. All the wealth belongs to Krsna. When He was present on this earth, He showed it. Aisvaryasya samagra… As much as we can comprehend, He showed. Sixteen thousand wives, sixteen thousand palaces. Who can show it? If we hear of sixteen, we become surprised. We keep one wife, and that is very difficult for us. We have to think over hundred times, “Whether I shall accept a wife to maintain?” You see? But Krsna had sixteen thousand wives. But not like us, having more than wife: one wife is crying and another wife is enjoying, no. He also expanded Himself in sixteen thousand forms. Every wife is enjoying the husband. That is Bhagavan. That is Bhagavan. You try to understand Bhagavan. Aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya. And if you have got more than wife, a few years after, you become impotent. But Krsna, in each wife, He begotten ten children. “I will give you ten child.” Sixteen thousand into ten, how much?
Prabhupada: Then they had ten children again. This is Yadu family. This is Yadu… This is family, Krsna’s family. So many, one person. And that is called Bhagavan. Show something, Bhagavan. They simply cheap Bhagavan, and rascal present as cheap Bhagavan, and rascal accepts them as Bhagavan. This is not good. Try to find out the actual Bhagavan. That is Krsna. That is…
He showed by practical example. He is accepted by great, great sages like Narada, Vyasadeva, Devala, Asita. That is also stated when Arjuna accept Him that “You are the Supreme Lord. So You are the Supreme Lord how? Because people may say I am Your friend; therefore I am accepting. No. All the authorities says that You are the Supreme Lord. And I have understood by Your personal explanation and I accept You.” Sarvam etad rtam manye yad vadasi kesava: [Bg. 10.14] “Whatever You have said, I accept it because You are Bhagavan.” This is Bhagavan.
So if you accept Bhagavan’s word with firm conviction, then your life is perfect immediately. Immediately you become perfect. There is no difficulty. Because I may be imperfect, but if I say that “I have understood. This is glass. This spectacle is spectacle. I have learned it from authority,” that is a fact. I may be imperfect, but because I have learned from authorities that “This is a spectacle. This is called spectacle,” then this statement is correct. Similarly, we may be imperfect, it doesn’t matter, but because we are accepting the words and statement of Krsna then our knowledge is imperfect…, perfect. It is not imperfect. (Scraping noise in background) (aside to devotee:) It does not shoot very…? All right.
So therefore Bhagavan uvaca. We have to hear from Bhagavan, not from rascals. Then your knowledge is perfect. If you hear from rascals, then you become rascal. Don’t hear from any rascal. Hear from Bhagavan and take it and accept it. Then, gradually, your existence will be purified. Just like if somebody comes… Recently it so happened. There is a big Mayavadi sannyasi in India. His name is Akshananda Swami. Perhaps you know. Did you know? No. Anyone? Anyway, he is a Mayavadi sannyasi. So Acyutananda Swami went to sell some books in their camp. So his disciple requested him, “Why don’t you ask some question from Swamiji?” So he said, “What I have to ask from him?” He was so convinced that “What this rascal can say to me? I know. I have heard from Krsna.” This is knowledge. So if you stick to Krsna and hear from Him, you haven’t got to hear from any rascal, any rascal. Then you will waste time. Don’t hear from any rascal.
Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is, as it is, without any change. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru: [Bg. 18.65] “Just become My devotee. Always think of Me.” We are teaching the same thing. We have no difficulty. What we are requesting you? “You think of Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna.” That’s all. Where is the difficulty? We don’t say, “You think of that, this of that, to this demigod, that demigod.” No. We don’t say. What is the use of other demigod? We show all respect to everyone, even to the ant, but that does mean that any demigod, any damn, any rascal, should be worshiped as God? No. That is not possible. We can show respect even to the insignificant ant. Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. That may be another thing. But we cannot accept anyone as God. That is not possible. That is knowledge. That is knowledge. Be convinced firmly, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: “Bhagavan means Krsna, nobody else.” Kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajante anya-devatah [Bg. 7.20]. Anya-devatah, accept as God, they are accepted by the rascals, hrta-jnanah, those who have lost their knowledge. They have lost their… Hrta-jnanah and nasta-buddhayah, those who have lost their knowledge. So don’t be lost of your knowledge. Stick to Krsna and accept His words as it is. Then you will be one day fearless, abhayam sattva-samsuddhih. Your existence will be purified, spiritual existence. Purified existence means spiritual existence. We are spiritual; we are not this material just like I am not this shirt, you are not this shirt. You are within the shirt. Similarly, asmin dehe. Dehino ‘smin yatha dehe. Dehino ‘smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]. We are within the shirt. This is the first knowledge, that “I am not this body.” Why I shall be puffed up with this body? This is superfluous. I am spirit soul. I am part and parcel of Krsna; therefore my only business is with Krsna.
Just like your hand, part and parcel of your body. Its only business is with this body. I am taking care of this body, I am taking of this hand, this leg, this head because there is intimate relationship with this body and with this head. I am not… Suppose if you are in danger, your head is in danger, I am not going to protect. But when my head is in danger, I prepared to give life. Similarly, we are part and parcel of Krsna, and Krsna is all-powerful. He says, “I will give you protection.” Just like I am giving protection to my hands and legs, so what about Krsna? Krsna also prepared. But if you deny His protection, that is a different thing. But if you are prepared to take His protection, aham tvam sarva-papebhyah, then you should immediately attain abhayam, no more fear. Rakhe krsna mare ke mare krsna rakhe ke: “If Krsna wants to kill you, who can save you? Nobody can save you. And if Krsna wants to protect you, who can kill you?” This is… This is philosophy, abhayam. So if you want to be fearless, if you want to sanctify your existence, take to Krsna consciousness, don’t be deviated. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 16.1-3 — Hawaii, January 29, 1975